Mémoires d’une féministe rangée
When at first I came to feminism, I took for granted many things. I didn’t define myself as a feminist, because in the past I met the worst kind of feminists — that I discovered that were no feminists at all: people who thought that being a feminist meant to consider all boys as an undeveloped species — except for cases in which they drove them home safely or bought them expensive gifts. Furthermore, they defined themselves as feminists but condemn different ways of living sexuality — because if you sleep with so many different people, then your body is just a toy for men and you’re a slut. I swear, it did happen and I was judged so from the so-called feminists.
Hence, it is easy to understand why I was sceptical about the very definition of feminism. I was lucky enough, however, to meet a wonderful friend and person during my MA in Philosophy here in Turin. she defined herself as a feminist, but she was radically different from the other “feminists” I’ve ever met. She made me discover a new way of approaching feminism and she taught me what feminism really means. She was no judgemental at all towards my sex life; nonetheless, she was judgemental towards my stance of considering some facts. She taught me why we need a strong notion of ‘sexual consensus’ and she showed me so many different ways in which we — as women — are discriminate.
I started to build my own feminist culture: I read wonderful articles on newspapers, I got to know Judith Butler and Gloria Steinem. I read ‘The Second Sex’ by Simone de Beauvoir and I tried to orient myself in the complex historical landscape of feminism.
And suddenly, I realised that things that happened to me in the past should have never happened if I was a man. I suffered jokes on the shape of my labia, feeling inadequate about it, when actually every vagina has its own shape — and it’s wonderful. I felt obliged to cover my body in summer, when I went to talk with professors, because I didn’t want to look like a “easy girl”. I stood heavy comments on my body just because I wore a skirt. If I forgot to wax my legs, I felt observed and judged (by men and women as well). I spend a lot of money every month to buy tampons. I’m the first who has to worry about condoms, because I would be the one that’ll suffer the consequences. I heard all kinds of stereotypes about women: they’re all moody, weak, bitches. Whenever I told to anyone that I don’t want to have children, the answer was always the same: you’ll see, every woman someday feels the urge of having a child. Wait and see.
I’m sick and tired of all these judgements and inequalities. I realised that it is frankly embarrassing to live in 2017 and still have to suffer all this.
What is even crazier is that so far I just talked about the kind of discrimination that I suffer, as a white European heterosexual woman. As intersectionality teaches, there are a lot of discriminations, even more manifest, that different people have to suffer.
It’s time to stop all of this and to start a real change in the world. Me, in my microcosm, I’m going to fight for a better reality.